Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: Since its founding after World War II, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has worked to develop future intellectual leaders and scholars for service in academia and government. As the name suggests, support mainly comes in the form of fellowships that cover a wide range of academic disciplines. The foundation also seeks to prepare outstanding individuals to teach STEM in high-needs high schools.

IP TAKE: The Wilson Foundation is dedicated to building the nation's intellectual capital, especially at the graduate level. Be sure to check for program-specific guidelines and possible geographic restrictions.

PROFILE: The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation began after World War II as a small fellowship program at Princeton, where President Wilson also served as president of the university. The program provided graduate fellowships designed to attract returning World War II veterans into academia. Today the Woodrow Wilson Foundation continues to support the work of exceptional graduate students, cultivating scholars and intellectuals for leadership in academia, business, and government. The foundation’s various Fellowships fall under a number of categories, including Access & Opportunity, Education, Faculty Development, Religion & Ethics, Teaching Fellowships, American History, and Women & Gender.

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation conducts higher education grantmaking through a variety of fellowships:

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship “seeks to attract talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—into teaching in high-need secondary schools.” In 2018, this fellowship only accepted applicants from Georgia, but in previous years it also served Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio.

The Woodrow Wilson HistoryQuest Fellowship offers professional development for history teachers that “aims to use the power of games, play, and digital tools to transform both teacher practice and student engagement. In the long term, it may also provide a new disciplinary resource for university-based teacher preparation.” This fellowship only accepts nominations from principals and superintendents. It currently serves Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Research “recruits and prepares outstanding leaders for schools and districts in participating states.” This fellowship only accepts nominations from education leaders and colleagues. It is currently serving Indiana and New Mexico.

The Woodrow Academy of Teaching and Learning is “a new kind of teacher preparation program, one that focuses on real-world outcomes and makes the most of the way learners learn.” This program has no geographical restrictions.

The Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars Award aims to “free the time of junior faculty who have passed their midpoint tenure review—including those from underrepresented groups and others committed to eradicating disparities in their fields—so that they can both engage in and build support for systems, networks, and affinity groups that make their fields and campuses more inclusive.” This award is available to assistant professors in the social sciences or humanities who are pursuing tenure.

The Course Hero-Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching “will support rising stars in the academy who love teaching, demonstrate excellence as educators, and are making their mark as exceptional researchers, poised to shape their fields.” It is described as a “genius grant” for scholars pursuing tenure, to help them balance the requirements of research and teaching.

The Mellon Foundation Fellowships are a group of grants intended to provide support to graduate students and early-career scholars who had previously participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship aims to “encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences,” and is intended to help Ph.D. candidates writing dissertations on the subject to finish in a timely manner.

The Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies is intended to “support the final year of dissertation writing for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose work addresses topics of women and gender in interdisciplinary and original ways.”

Fellowships typically range from $10,000 to $20,000. Applicants should make sure to review the eligibility requirements of the relevant fellowship, as some only serve certain states or research into particular fields, and some only accept nominations rather than applications.


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